The back of Jolie Amato’s neck tingled, and she knew right away that she was being watched. She felt the burning gaze of whoever watched her, and it left a peculiar impression deep in the pit of her stomach. Every bone in her body pressed for her to run inside her home and shut the door, and yet at the same time she wondered who was studying her so closely. If it was someone intending on hurting her, there were enough lights in the gated community where she lived that it wouldn’t go unnoticed. And with that reasoning, her curious side won out.
She couldn’t help the stiffening of her spine as she inserted the key into her apartment lock, paused, and turned to look. The sun had set about an hour ago, but there were lampposts lit inside of her complex. Her gaze moved from a woman and man with their children, to a couple lingering outside an apartment door, and then to four teenagers lounging on the chairs by the pool.
Nothing strange there from what she could tell, and no one appeared to be fixated on her either.
She turned to her left, surprised when her gaze collided with a 100 percent prime male specimen. On the same floor she lived on, just two doors down from her own residence, she found the source of her distraction. There was no shock factor in the way he watched her, nor was she frightened. Not even a tiny bit afraid. In fact, if she had to give a name to what she was feeling, she would say she was utmost pleased to be the sole focus of this particular man’s attention.
And what an excellent man he was, her outrageously sexy, motorcycle-riding, muscled neighbor Detective Mac Dumont. Funny she should think of him as hers, but she couldn’t help the thought. She sure as hell wasn’t going to fantasize about him and think of him as another woman’s.
She didn’t know much of him, just that he lived close to her, and the few times he had greeted her briefly, she’d caught glances of his badge. Other than small talk they’d shared, there had never been a perfect opportunity for them to get together and really delve into the spark of connection she had felt with him. And she could almost bet one year’s worth of her salary that he felt the same way about her.
The way he was watching her now, as if he wouldn’t mind backing her up into her apartment and fucking her, made her want to go up to him and say something inviting. But what if he turned her down? There was still a small chance of that, and truly, she would be crushed that he, a dark Greek god in the flesh, didn’t see her in the sexy “I want to fuck you” way she thought he did. His dark, straight hair reached his shoulders, and his eyes were gray, the color a complete contrast to his tanned skin. His bottom lip was slightly larger than the upper, and he sported a goatee, which she happened to love. He wore a black sleeveless tee that showed off his lean muscles, and the denim jeans enhanced his bad-boy appeal.
“Good evening, Jolie. Hope the day has treated you well.”
The rest of the day, not to mention the two weeks she took off as vacation, would be perfect if she just dared to invite him in. Sweat moistened her brow, and she fought the urge to wipe her hand over it. The summer heat was dreadful today, thick and muggy. She had a vision of relieving the heat with a cold shower, and more importantly, Mac fucking her against the wall as the water cooled their skin. The problem would be how to make that vision come true. “It’s been good. Tomorrow is the first day of my vacation, and I’m looking forward to it. How was your day?”
“Fine. A day with no arrests on my end, or else I would still be at the precinct filling out paperwork.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re not stuck at work on a night like this.” Please, please, please let him make the first move.
“Actually, I’m on my way to pick up some files at the precinct so I can at least get some work done at home. You have a great night.”
Why did it feel that her heart was breaking in half at those words? The logical part of her brain knew he could have brought his files home when he had left the precinct, and that meant he used it as an excuse to get away from her. It was as if he dismissed her because he had something better to do. It was truly silly feeling such a thing, when she didn’t know him in a personal way that should cause such heartbreak.
“Thank you.” She mumbled the words and turned away from him, not wanting him to see the tiny hurt that was probably visible in her gaze. She swallowed against a ball of emotion lodged in her throat.
She opened the door and entered her home, miserable at the thought of spending another night alone without satisfying any of her cravings. Add the fact that her two-week summer vacation began officially two hours ago with no plans because she was trying to cut back on spending, and she was doubly depressed. What the hell was she going to do for fourteen days? Go nuts, probably.
* * * * *
“I’m on my way to pick up some files at the precinct.”
Damn! He could’ve done way better than that. And why the hell didn’t he tell her he was on his way out to grab a bite to eat? Or even invite her to the precinct’s annual Independence Day fireworks party, even though he didn’t have plans to attend? That would’ve been ten times better than the dumb-ass excuse he had made up and a perfect opportunity to invite her out and get to know her better.
Mac felt like banging his head against the concrete in frustration. He could’ve at least asked her to his place for drinks, so they could talk. Any reason to spend time with her would’ve been better than fantasizing about how much he wanted to be with her.
Instead, he’d taken the easy way out, fearing that even if he did ask her on a date, she would turn him down. Why would a sexy woman like that be interested in a hands-on, rugged man like him? Shit! He preferred his sex hard and a little rough. He wasn’t too sure Jolie would like the feel of his hands on what appeared to be very enticing, smooth flesh.
Lame. That’s exactly what he was, and being in his late thirties, you’d think he wouldn’t get tongue-tied at the sight of a gorgeous woman. He hungered for her, and she made him harden instantly. Her brown hair reached her waist, and he had wondered one too many times how the strands would feel against his skin. Her lips were full, and her eyes a beautiful shade of brown. Her body enticed him, and he imagined often what she would look like naked. He would’ve done better if he had followed her inside, backed against her apartment door, and rubbed his body against hers, arousing her before he tasted her sweet lips. That was his number one fantasy, starring her.
He felt like an idiot for not making a move. His cock had lengthened as their gazes had collided. Perhaps she had felt him watching her and had become curious, or she even felt the same about him. That would be hoping for too much, but it would be heaven if it turned out that way. He had also detected a hint of vulnerability in her tone of voice as she responded to him.
Mac swore silently, his gaze on the door she had just closed. His muscles tightened in anticipation. She was on vacation, which made it the perfect time to go ahead with his plan. Soon, he’d make his move, and he hoped to hell Jolie would accept him.